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Sonu Nigam

Sonu Nigam
File:Sonu Nigam121.jpg
Nigam in 2013
Background information
Born Faridabad, Haryana, India
Genres Pop Rock Singing, Classical Singing, Semi-Classical Singing, Ghazals Singing, Playback Singing
Occupation(s) Singer, Musician, Music Composer
Instruments Vocals
Labels Sony Music, T-Series, Tips, Saregama, Venus Records & Tapes
Associated acts Sunidhi Chauhan

Sonu Nigam is an Indian singer whose songs have been featured mainly in Hindi and Kannada movies. He has also sung many songs in other languages including Manipuri,Garhwali, Oriya, Tamil, Assamese, Punjabi, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Telugu and Nepali. He has released Indian pop albums and acted in a few movies.[1]

Personal life

Nigam was born at Faridabad in a Kayastha family of Gujjars.[2][3] He began his singing career at the age of four, when he joined his father Agam Kumar Nigam on stage to sing Mohammed Rafi's song "kya hua tera wada ". From then on, Nigam accompanied his father on his singing appearances at weddings and parties. He moved to Mumbai with his father to begin his Bollywood singing career at the age of 19.[4] He was trained by Hindustani classical singer Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

Nigam married Madhurima, who is from a Bengali family, on 15 February 2002.[5] They have a son born in 2007. [6] He says that he is spiritual rather than religious.[7]


Playback singing

His initial years in Mumbai proved to be a struggle, beginning by singing covers of Mohammed Rafi songs, mainly for a number of "Rafi Ki Yaadein" albums released by T-Series. T-Series promoter Gulshan Kumar gave him a chance to reach a larger audience. In these years Nigam's singing style was regarded by some to be a "Rafi clone". Nigam's first movie song as a playback singer was for Janam (1990), which was never officially released. He then began making radio commercials and also acted on some of them.

Nigam started hosting the popular TV show, Sa Re Ga Ma, in 1995. Soon after, he sang "Accha Sila Diya" for the film Bewafa Sanam (1995).[4] He sang the Anu Malik-composed song "Sandese Aate Hai" in Border (1997). He performed the Nadeem-Shravan-composed song "Yeh Dil Deewana" in Pardes in the same year. Nigam's album Deewana, with music directed by Sajid-Wajid, was released by T-Series in 1999.[4]

Nigam provided playback singing for Hindi movies and won many awards, notably for the title song of the film Kal Ho Naa Ho and "Abhi Mujhme Kahin"(Agneepatha-2012). He recorded romantic, rock, sad and patriotic songs in Hindi, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, English,Maithili , Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali, Chhattisgarhi, Malayalam, Tulu and Marathi.[4]

As composer

Nigam composed the title track of the film Singh Saab The Great as a solo composer. He has also composed the music of films including Sooper Se Ooper and Jal in collaboration with percussionist Bickram Ghosh.

Filmography as composer

Year Film Notes
2015 Bachelors Not Allowed
2015 Ishq Junoon {Single Song}
2015 Happy Anniversary
2015 Chowky {Promotional song}
2014 Jal
2013 Singh Saab The Great {Title Track}
2013 Sooper Se Ooper

Pop albums and concerts

Nigam has released pop albums in Hindi, Oriya,Chhattisgarhi, Punjabi and Kannada. He has released Hindu and Islamic devotional albums. Also, he has sung on the album, Buddha Hi Buddha Hai (part 1 and 2), which is based on Buddha's teachings and composed by Rajesh Dhabare; a couple of albums on B.R. Ambedkar in Marathi (Jiwala Jiwach Daan part 1 and 2) some of his songs from series of Bewafa Sanam, as well as albums of Mohammed Rafi's songs. These are from the Rafi Ki Yaadein collection from his early years, which were re-released in September 2007 as a six-disc collection of 100 songs, titled Kal Aaj Aur Kal, in Rafi's memory.[8] In 2008, soon after releasing Classically Mild, he released a single Punjabi track called "Punjabi Please"[9] and Rafi Resurrected, a two-disc collection of Rafi songs with music by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He contributed to the lyrics of several songs and directed the music for his album Chanda Ki Doli.

After the death of Michael Jackson, Nigam released a song as a tribute to Jackson. The song was included on the tribute album The Beat of Our Hearts.[10]

Nigam collaborated with Britney Spears on a remix of her "I Wanna Go" track.[11][12]

Nigam has performed in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Caribbean|West Indies, Suriname, Mauritius, Nigeria and South Africa. In May and June 2007, he participated in a "The Incredibles" with Asha Bhosle, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher. In September and October of the same year, he gave solo concerts titled "Simply Sonu" in Canada and Germany, becoming the first Indian singer to perform in the latter country.[13] In April 2008, he toured India promoting his Punjabi single "Punjabi Please".[14]

In November 2007, at the inauguration of Harvard University's 28th president, Drew Gilpin Faust, Nigam sang Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan, "Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye", with the Harvard College Sangeet.[15] In July 2008, he participated in a three-city tour of the United Kingdom, singing the Rafi songs with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) . This followed the release of these songs by the CBSO and the Indian music company Sa Re Ga Ma on Rafi Resurrected.[16]

Among several other concerts, he participated in a US tour with Sunidhi Chauhan in 2009 called "The Explosion 2009" tour and in a UK tour titled "All Izz Well" in November 2010.

2011, Nigam collaborated with Kakas Entertainment and Laxmikant-Pyarelal for "Maestros" Concert where he sang Mohammed Rafi songs.[17]

In 2012, Nigam performed Klose To My Heart a 40-day musical tour covering the Caribbean Islands, Canada and the U.S. In 2014, Balaji Entertainment organised the tour Klose To My Soul across 17 major cities in USA, Canada and West Indies.

Other projects

Nigam was reported to be working on an English album called Spirit Unfolding.[18] and on a project called Time Travel, where his voice will be aligned with recordings of other singers in Hindi songs.[19]

Nigam has also sung a song produced by Avicii.

In 2014 Nigam released an online only track, "Trini Ladki".

He was ranked no 1 artist in the US Billboard Uncharted charts for two times (7 September and 5 October 2013).[20][21]

In Kannada

Sonu Nigam's first song in Kannada was "Yello Yaro Hego" in 1996 for the film Jeevanadhi starring Vishnuvardhan. The song's music was composed by Koti with lyrics by R N Jayagopal. Nigam has sung over 700 Kannada songs[22][23] and has received several awards for them. He became a sensation in the southern industry of Kannada and is called the "The Golden Singer Of Karnataka".[24][25][26][27][28]

His songs include "Cheluve Yeke Bande" from the film Majnu composed by Gurukiran; "Usire Usire" from Huccha composed by Rajesh Ramnath,"Titanic Heroine nee nanna cheluve" from the film Snehaloka; the title track from the film Monalisa composed by Valisha Sandeep;[29] "Hamsave Hamsave" from the film Gatti mela composed by Hamsalekha, "Kannale Kannale" from the film Aham Premasmi composed by V.Ravichandran[30] and "Baaninda Baa Chandira from the movie Kanti composed by Gurukiran. The 2006 film Mungaru Male created a sensation and several records, mainly in Karnataka.[31][32] The songs not only set records of highest sales and downloads, the film also set a national record on 29 December 2007 of having completed an entire year at the PVR Cinemas Bengaluru, the first time an Indian language film to do so.[33][34][35]

The songs Mungaru Maleye and Anisuthide were composed by Mano Murthy and written by Yogaraj Bhat and Jayanth Kaikini respectively. Nigam became a sensation in the South and was called the Golden Singer of Karnataka. Nigam says that he finds Kannada songs more fulfilling than the Hindi numbers.[36] Sonu Nigam, in a recent interview to the Deccan Herald news paper has said ‘Kannada songs make me feel positive’.[37] He said, "I highly respect the musicians of Karnataka and many of my favorite songs are in Kannada. I consider Bangalore as my second birthplace. Even if someone requests me to sing a Kannada song while I’m performing in the West Indies, I will sing it for them".[23]

With the same Mungaru Male combination, music director Mano Murthy, lyricist Jayant Kaikini and Nigam got together for a Kannada album Neene Bari Neene produced by Ashok Kheny. The songs Neene Bari Neene and Baa Nodu Gelathi were shot on the outskirts of Bengaluru featuring Nigam and model Madhuri Bhattacharya in the lead.[38][39] Sonu Nigam also composed a theme song for the Karnataka Bulldozer's team in the Celebrity Cricket League. The song was sung by Sonu Nigam, Kunal Ganjawala and Sowmya Raoh, who also penned the lyrics.[40]


Sonu Nigam has lent his voice to 36 Telugu songs.


He has lent his voice to 12 Tamil songs.

In Malayalam

Malayalam was one of the few Indian languages in which Sonu Nigam did not sing for a long time. Later in 2011, he sang his first Malayalam song 'Chakkaramavin Kombathu', for the movie Bombay March 12. Sonu had earlier sung a song in the movie Kandahar, but that song, 'Aye Janani', was in Hindi. In 2014, he sang the romantic song 'Thoomanjin Kulirilo' for the movie 8.20,


Nigam was the host of Sa Re Ga Ma from the start of the show till 1999.[41] He returned on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs International as a judge with Suresh Wadkar in October 2007. Nigam was a celebrity judge on the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge grand finale on 12 December 2009 which marked the 1000th episode.

He hosted the TV show Kisme Kitna Hai Dum on Star Plus in 2002.

Nigam appeared as the judge for Indian Idol in seasons 1 (October 2004 – March 2005) and 2 (November 2005 – April 2006). He was a celebrity judge in seasons 3 (17 August 2007) and 4 (16 January 2009 and 6 February 2009).

He appeared as a celebrity judge on Amul STAR Voice of India in August 2007 (Season 1) and in December 2008 (Season 2) and on the grand finale of music reality show Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star on 12 July 2008.

Nigam was a judge/mentor on Chhote Ustaad - Do Deshon Ki Ek Awaaz (July – October, 2010) with Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Nigam provided the voice for the lead character, Aladdin in the Hindi translated version of Aladdin, along with Juhi Chawla as Jasmine.[42]

He was a judge/mentor on the first season of X Factor (India) (29 May – 2 September 2011) along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shreya Ghoshal.[41]

Acting career

Nigam's acting career[43] started as a child in films including Betaab (1983). As an adult, he acted in films such as Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani, Kash Aap Hamare Hote, as the male lead opposite Juhi Babbar, and Love in Nepal. All of the films did well at the box office, although his acting was much better appreciated in his last venture. He has not returned to acting since Love in Nepal, but was recently said to be involved in Ankhon Ankhon Mein, about a blind singer.[44]


In 2006, Nigam hosted Life Ki Dhun with Sonu Nigaam on Radiocity 91.1 FM, where he had the opportunity to interview musicians, including Lata Mangeshkar in the episode aired last.[45]

Dubbing roles

Nigam voices certain roles in Hindi for foreign films, especially Hollywood films.

On February 2013, An announcement has been made that Sonu is assigned to lead his voice in a Hindi dubbed version of a Japanese anime film, The Mystical Laws.[46]

International singles

In December 2012, Sonu released a single in collaboration with Avicii, a Swedish dance producer.[47]

Animated films

Film title Original Voice Character Dub Language Original Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
Disney's Aladdin[48] Scott Weinger
Brad Caleb Kane (Singing)
Aladdin Hindi English 1992 2005 Gave both the speaking and singing voice to Aladdin in this film. Aired on Disney Channel India.
Rio Jesse Eisenberg Blu Hindi English 2011 2011

Anime films

Film title Original Japanese Voice Character Dub Language Original Release Dub Release Notes
The Mystical Laws[49] Hindi 2012 2013[50]
File:Sonu Nigam(1).jpg
Sonu Nigaam during a Peace Rally in Mumbai on 20 November 2011


  • MTV Style Awards 2004 - Best Male Playback Singer - Bandhan[51]
  • 2010 - Global Indian Music Award for Best Live Performer (Male)[52]
  • 2012-2013 Filmfare Awards South - Best Playback Singer Male for the song 'Chendutiya Pakkadali' from the movie Drama.[53]



Nigam has acted in various films.

Film Title Character Year
ishq junoon - Passion of Love composer 2015
Pyaara Dushman manish khadnya 1995
Kaamchor Sonu (Rakesh Roshan's nephew) 1982
Ustaadi Ustaad Se Raju (Young Mithun Chakraborty) 1982
Betaab Sunny (Young Sunny Deol) 1983
Hum Se Hai Zamana Shiva (Young Mithun Chakraborty) 1983
Taqdeer Shiva (Young Shatrughan Sinha) 1983
Krishna Krishna Sudhama 1986
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani Vivek Saxena 2002
Kash Aap Hamare Hote Jai Kumar 2003
Love in Nepal Abby 2004
Navra Maajha Navsacha Guest appearance as himself in a song sequence 2005


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  2. ^ "Sonu Nigam: My mother was my best ally — The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  3. ^ India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic: An ..., Volume 1. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "Sonu Nigam weds city belle". The Times Of India. 15 February 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2008.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Indian Singer Sonu Nigam becomes a father". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "I AM: Sonu Nigam". The Times Of India. 11 November 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "Sonu Niigaam pays homage to Mohd Rafi". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  9. ^ "Big FM launches Sonu Niigaam single Punjabi Please". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  10. ^ "Michael Jackson Trubute portrait". Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  11. ^ "Sonu Nigam and Britney Spears to sing together". Retrieved 14 July 2012. 
  12. ^ *Sonu Nigam collaborates with Britney Spears
  13. ^ "Sonu Nigam's Tour to Germany". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  14. ^ "Close-Up and BIG 92.7 FM bring Sonu Nigam’s concert". Retrieved 25 July 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Sonu Nigam invited to perform at Harvard University". Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "Sonu Nigam's new album 'Rafi Resurrected' in July this year". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  17. ^ "Top singers, 100 musicians at Laxmikant-Pyarelal concert". Indian Express. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  18. ^ "Sonu Nigam to launch English album". The Times Of India. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  19. ^ "Time travel". Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  20. ^ "Uncharted : Sep 07, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  21. ^ "Uncharted : Oct 05, 2013 | Billboard Chart Archive". 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  22. ^ "Sonu Nigam — Live in Concert at Tripuravasini, Mekhri Circle, Bangalore". Buzzintown. 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  23. ^ a b 11 March 2012 : (2012-03-11). "Pitching it right". Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  24. ^ The author has posted comments on this article (2014-07-30). "The Golden Singer of Karnataka, Sonu Nigam, turns 41 - The Times of India" (in русский). Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  25. ^ The author has posted comments on this article (2013-09-05). "Sonu lauded for new song — The Times of India". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  26. ^ Andanappa, Nagarathna (2013-07-30). "Birthday Boy Sonu Nigam's 15 Best Kannada Songs — Filmibeat". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  27. ^ "sonu nigam: sonu nigam biography". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  28. ^ Shanti, Om (2013-05-22). "Rock Music: Sonu Nigam Singing The Kannada Song In Live Concert". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  29. ^ "SONU NIGAM rocks in Monalisa – Monalisa – Sadaa ,Dhyan | Kannada songs collection, kannada movie news". 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  30. ^ "Welcome —". Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  31. ^ "'Mungaru Male' National record — Kannada Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  32. ^ "Mungaru Male – Successful 365 days!! at Bangalore 365". 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  33. ^ "SIRIGANDHA Kannada songs blog : ಕನ್ನಡವೇ ಸತ್ಯ ಸಿರಿಗಂಧ ನಿತ್ಯ: Mungaru male — one more record to basket". 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  34. ^ "Mungaru Male – Successful 365 days — Mohan's Blog". 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  35. ^ "Mungaru Male Completed 365 Days !!! | Perfume Factory". 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  36. ^ ": Videos". Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  37. ^ Sudha Hegde (2010-08-18). "‘Kannada songs make me feel positive’.". Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  38. ^ "Kannada Sonu Nigam Neene Bari Neene Manomurthy". YouTube. 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  39. ^ "Sonu Nigam — Baa Nodu Gelathi — Neene Bari Neene (HQ)". YouTube. 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  40. ^ "Karnataka Bulldozers OFFICIAL THEME SONG [HQ] Celebrity Cricket League". YouTube. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2013-07-09. 
  41. ^ a b Rajini Vaidyanathan (30 May 2011). "Does India have the X factor?". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  43. ^ "Sonu Nigam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  44. ^ Noyon Jyoti Parasara (3 June 2007). "Sonu ready to play blind!". DNA. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  45. ^ "Life Ki Dhun Sonu Niigaam". Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  46. ^ Template:Url= Nigam lends voice to a Japanese movie-gid-25197-gc-6.html
  47. ^ Singh, Nirmika. "Sonu Nigam: I didn’t know who Avicii was". Hindustan Times. 
  48. ^ "The Walt Disney Company". 2005-02-23. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 
  49. ^ "Sonu Nigam lends voice to a Japanese movie". 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  50. ^ "Sonu Nigam croons for Japanese animation film THE MYSTICAL LAWS". 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  51. ^ "Anandalok Awards 2004". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 22 December 2005. 
  52. ^ "Global Indian Television Awards". The Times Of India. Retrieved 2010-11-16. [dead link]
  53. ^ "Bangalore Times Film Awards 2012 goes to... - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 

External links